My seven-year-old is outgrowing some of his books, most of which we’ve had for over 20 years. One last time, I leaf through these wonderful and familiar books, read and loved by all three children. I remember the lovely hours spent with a child on my lap reading. We all acknowledge the power and benefits of reading to our children, but add in the lap component and magic happens. We’re donating some of the books to our local library, but there are some classics I’ll hang onto even when my last chick has left the nest, and Dr. Seuss is among them.
Earlier this month, schools across the country celebrated ‘Cat in the Hat Day’ in honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel, our beloved Dr. Seuss. As a child, he too was introduced to the love of reading and words on his mother’s lap. She read and recited rhymes to him; in fact, he credited her with his ability and desire to create his famous and well-known rhymes.
Brilliant and playful, Dr. Seuss changed the nature of children’s books and helped four generations of children learn to read. His stories march at a rhythmic pace, full of tongue-twisters, word play, inventive vocabulary, and imaginative hybrid beasts. Even after his death in 1991, Dr. Seuss continues to be the best-selling author of children's books in the world. I always enjoyed reading his stories as much as my children loved hearing them. I’ve heard reading his books described as an amusement park for your mouth! Isn’t it nice to know you’re never too old to read a Dr. Seuss book?
And now we’ve come full-circle. As Ted Geisel learned to love words and rhymes on his mother’s lap, I’m hoping to impart similar lessons to my children on my lap. Read-aloud time is always a special experience marked off from ordinary by a parent's lap and a Dr. Seuss book. Corban may be outgrowing some of his books, but with many stories to be told and lessons to be shared, even at seven, he still fits perfectly in my lap.